Two days ago, a bird fell down the chimney of our wood stove. At first, it stayed in the chimney (which was a good choice, seeing as the stove was still hot from the morning’s fire), but by evening the bird had moved into the stove part and was scratching around all panicky and desperate. It gave me the willies.
So yesterday morning, once the kids were up and breakfasted, I closed all the blinds, put blankets up at the windows that had no blinds, and opened the doors wide. The girls stood on the stairs with a blanket in front of them to keep the bird from flying up yonder, my younger son and I stood out on the porch, and my older son opened the stove door.
The dumb bird flew straight into the bright, lace-covered windows. The kids promptly abandoned their posts and ran to the curtain-swinging, wing-flopping bird. I yelled at them to get back to their places, but my younger boy positioned himself right smack in the middle of the doorway so he could see better, so of course the bird crashed straight into him on his way out. The poor boy (who didn’t listen to me so I wasn’t really all that sorry for him) (except I was totally sorry for him because flapping birds are terrifying) was moderately traumatized and cried quite loudly for a couple minutes. Then we shut the doors, folded up the blankets, opened the blinds, and went about our ordinary day.
Except I didn’t. Because I went outside to hang a sheet over the clothesline and my shoulder/back/neck seized up, so I spent the rest of the day propped up in bed watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy interspersed with TED lectures.
As far as I can tell, it’s the very same affliction that I got when I was vacationing at my aunt’s house two years ago. I do not know why it happens or if there is anything I could do to prevent it. Perhaps this is what it feels like to be smoted? First there were the warts and now I get zapped? If I were a superstitious person, I’d be knocking on wood and shaking salt over everything.
Instead, I just cried tears of self-pity and pain, rotted my brain out with stupid shows, and took so many painkillers that I could barely carry my end of a phone conversation with my mom.
And then I slept really good and woke up somewhat improved. I still walk around like my spine is tied to a pole, and the weight of my heavy head on my achy neck completely wipes me out, but I’m at least doing things like making tortillas and putting kids on time out and organizing the bathroom cupboard (and delivering some pretty powerful lectures on lying and trust-worthiness and responsibility to my four darling children who took advantage of their mother’s smitedness to live the high life). But no hanging up laundry for me, for sure.
And maybe forever.